RCMP to expand use of drone mini-helicopters

Douglas Quan, Postmedia News

The RCMP are planning to expand their fleet of remote-controlled “eyes in the sky,” and for the first time, they’re looking south of the border to a company that has been a major supplier of unmanned aerial vehicles for the U.S. military.

Southern California-based AeroVironment Inc. builds tiny fixed-wing drones, which have been a staple of the U.S. Defense Department’s arsenal in the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.

But it also produces a line of four-rotor helicopters — called Qubes — that are tailor-made for use by police. Small enough to fit in the trunk of a car and controlled using touch-screen tablets, these toy-like machines are equipped with live-stream video cameras and thermal-imaging technology to give police a bird’s eye view of an accident scene and aid in search-and-rescue operations.




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